Wednesday saw Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing’s newest recruit, Rob Collard, take to the wheel of one of the team’s Vauxhall Astras for the first time.
Collard, who won the 2003 Independent’s Cup in an Astra, joins teammate Jason Plato in search of Championship glory this year in the newly named Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing team.
Posting continually improving times throughout the day, which saw the Kent track under many different weather conditions, showed that the combination of Collard and the PMR Astra looks to be a strong pairing for the coming year.
Having competed successfully in rear-wheel-drive BTCC machinery since 2008, the step to front-wheel-drive is something that has troubled less-experienced drivers in the championship over the years, but Collard seemingly took the change in his stride, completing 133 problem free laps of the famous Kent Circuit. He was positive about his first session in the car, stating “Going back to a front-wheel-drive car was always going to be slightly strange, but I’d got the feel of the car after a few laps. The team were spot on from the off, and we made changes throughout the day that saw us putting some really strong and consistent times down. Martin and the team have put together a fantastic car, and I’m feeling really good about the coming season.”
Team Manager Martin Broadhurst was positive about the day: “Working with a driver as experienced as Rob can only benefit us as a team. The feedback he has been able to give us on the car after just a few laps has been fantastic, and he used the day to settle into the car and get a feel for it, stating early on that he felt extremely comfortable with it. Coupling this with Rob's experience, alongside the last 2-years of data we have, we’re feeling more positive than ever about this year.”
Next week sees the turn of double-BTCC Champion Jason Plato, who also won his first title in an Astra, take to the wheel at Snetterton for the first time.